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Lifestyle

Four Tips for Renovating your Home

July 14, 2019

If you have just moved house, or are getting fed up of your décor, you might be thinking about changing a few things. Whether it is just a lick of fresh paint to smarten the look, or you want to do more extensive work, then there is always some planning needed. If you are ready to change the look of your home, this renovation guide will give you some tips to get you started.

1. Vision

In order to renovate your home, you need to have a vision of what you want the end results to look like. To do this, you might like to get ideas from magazines or online. Visiting showrooms will also give you inspiration. Searching for showrooms in your area, like bathroom showrooms Hertfordshire, gives you many different styles of bathrooms and fixtures that you could apply to your new bathroom.

Another way to get ideas on what you could do with your property is to look at similar houses in the area and see what changes the owners have made. An easy way to do this is to look online at property sale websites, which often have interior photos of houses that are for sale.

2. Budget

Having a budget for a home renovation project is essential, as without setting limits or knowing what you are going to be spending can lead to debt. Have a fixed amount that you want to spend and give yourself a cushion to cover any unexpected costs. How to determine your budget will depend, as it can be considerably lower if you intend to do much of the work yourself, However, if you don’t have the expertise, then you are better off hiring a professional who will get the job done well and quickly.

3. Professional Advice

If you intend to carry out structural changes to a property, such as removing walls or adding a loft conversion, then it is important to get the advice of a professional builder or architect. Removing load-bearing walls without replacing the support can be dangerous, as well as costly to put right if done incorrectly. Other works that will need professional expertise are drain removal and rerouting. You might also need planning permissions or have to comply with rules and building regulations.

4. Keep Mess Low

Renovation can be messy, especially if you are altering the layout by knocking down walls. Mess from home renovation can quickly build up, it is a good idea to hire a skip where you can put all the waste immediately. If you are only renovating one or two rooms, then frequent trips to your local tip should be enough. 

It can be difficult living in a home that is being renovated, but sometimes there is no choice. If you are staying in the home, it can become stressful. Try to have one room that you can keep clean and dust free. This will help you shut off from the project when you need to.

Renovating a home can be both exciting and stressful, but while it might feel difficult at times, keep the finished look in mind. After your home renovation, not only will you have a beautiful place to live, but you will have added value to your property too. 

Uncategorized

Ways to Save Money on Home Renovation Projects

July 4, 2019

Most people here the word renovation and gasp knowing that the cost will consume not only their entire savings but more than likely a lot more money that they don’t have. While many renovations can run well into the tens of thousands, especially if it’s a kitchen remodel, DIY projects don’t have to cost even half of the estimate you may receive from a contractor. 

Do Some of the Work Yourself 

If you are willing to do some of the work on your own you can cut the cost of a remodel by better than half. However, when it comes to updating the actual plumbing or electricity, for a bathroom or a kitchen, unless you know someone who is a plumber or an electrician, you’re better off hiring a professional. 

A Fresh Coat of Paint 

In any room, a fresh coat of paint can change the appearance completely and give it a new look. And, if you want, you can create a border, or a two-tone wall to add contrast. All you need is the paint, rollers, brushes, tray and painters tape. 

Hardwood Floors 

Nothing beats the look and feel of a home with hardwood floors. They add beauty and character and are surprisingly easy to maintain versus carpeting. If your floors are less than desirable, you can use a buffer and then a couple of coats of finish to restore your floors to like-new condition. This is a project that you can do in a single weekend, and acquire long-lasting results for a nominal fee. 

Kitchen Upgrade 

If your kitchen is outdated and you want to bring it to the 21st century, you can do so by adding new appliances and countertops. If you don’t have the cash or you don’t want to part with your savings, you can opt to rent and then own appliances for a lender. This way the payback amount is small monthly and you get brand new appliances. If your existing cabinets are in good condition, as in most cases, you can simply apply your desired color of paint and then change out the hardware. Add a new hand-applied tile backslash and your kitchen is complete for just a few thousand dollars. 

Don’t Discount Second-Hand Offerings 

Many people want a new piece of furniture or accessories for their home. And, while somethings certainly should be new-to-you like a mattress, furniture is one of those things you can buy used. Visit the local thrift shop or google online second-hand stores that sell used pieces in good condition. Even if you need to change the color and replace the hardware to coordinate with your existing decor, it will save you money. You can also check the local paper to see if anyone is having a garage or an estate sale. 

Creating Additional Storage 

Lack of storage is a problem for many homeowners. If you have a basement,  you can build storage shelving units instead of paying for prefabricated kits that can cost upwards of five hundred dollars each. The nice thing about this DIY project is that you create a customized storage space, designed specifically for your home. You can do the same thing with any existing closet. By simply measuring the space and then acquiring the supplies, you can design storage that suits your needs. 

You work hard for your money, and spending it wisely should be a goal you look to achieve. The good news is that even when you need to overhaul a room in your home or create added storage space if you are willing to do the work on your own, you can do it for just the cost of the supplies.  

Lifestyle

Best Outlaw Style Motorcycle Helmets

June 27, 2019

For law-abiding citizens, an outlaw motorcycle helmet may be the closest they come to breaking the law. These slick helmets are durable, stylish and designed to keep you safe. Whether you’re looking for a new style to try out or need to find the best motorcycle helmets that offer the unique outlaw look, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some top picks for the best outlaw style motorcycle helmets on the market.

Scorpion EXO Covert Helmet

An affordable option that can still take a beating, the Scorpion EXO is a dynamic option for a wide variety of use. You can wear the Covert as a half helmet, full face or 3/4 helmet. This gives you all the benefits of a durale, full face design, and still allows you to feel the wind once and awhile.

A retractable visor, generous vents and a unique look, you’re sure to get a killer helmet that works well in a variety of situations. Stay comfortable on long trips or take this one for a spin around your neighborhood to show off your new look.

Biltwell Lane Splitter

Fast, furious and protective enough for even the most painful crash, the Lane Splitter is a testament to function and fashion in one helmet. While the interior is lined with EPS to absorb shock, the patented ABS shell keeps you safe from skids, rocks or a collision with other hard surfaces. Choose an outlaw helmet that doesn’t just promise a great-looking exterior, but also walks the talk and keeps your head safe. Touring, commuting or impressing the fans all requires a healthy blend of comfort and safety. Thankfully, the Biltwell Lane Splitter delivers.

While it comes with expansive intake vents to allow plenty of air flow, these non-adjustable vents are likely to cool your face off in cold climates. An inner mesh pocket for your communication device seals the deal on this iconic outlaw helmet that boasts a wide variety of shell colors.

Scorpion EXO-AT950 Neocon Helmet

From the aerodynamic touring shape to the attachable sun visor, this multipurpose Scorpion helmet is great for most riding situations. Not to be confused with the Covert, the EXO-AT950 is a dual-sport dream that is easy to use all day long. The dynamic lines and aggressive look matches your motorcycle aftermarket parts you use to trick out your ride.

From motocross mud pits to day and night driving on long cruises, the EXO-AT950 delivers expert performance and a sleek look. Go with the standard matte black color scheme or choose a vibrant accent color to turn heads as you fly by.

The liner is antimicrobial, so you won’t have to worry about sweat and dirt creating a funky smell as you ride. You’ll find a communication inner pocket, a generous manufacturer warranty and a dual-density shell for even the toughest crashes.

While there are many more outlaw style motorcycle helmets, these three designs represent some of the most premium, flexible and well-rounded options on the market. From specialized motocross setups to dual-sport enthusiasts, grab the outlaw helmet that fits your needs, matches your motorcycle gear and promises you’ll be the coolest biker on the road.

Uncategorized

What are the top tips for saving money?

June 27, 2019

We’re always on the lookout for ways to save money, especially after our bank balances have taken a hit over the festive period. Of course, there are the traditional ways of saving such as budgeting and setting aside a certain amount of funds each month. But, without overly restricting your leisure activities, what everyday changes can you make to spend less?

  1. Spend less on your energy bill

Make small everyday changes to lower the cost of your energy bill. 

Did you know that 4% of your energy bill is attributed to cooking? Work on lowering this if you can. Your oven stays warm for a long time after you’ve switched it off. Try turning it off 10 minutes before you’re finished cooking to save on energy. 

Instead of turning your thermostat up during the colder months, layer up instead to save on pennies! Switching down by just one degree Celsius can save you £85 per year — it all adds up. When it comes to showering, cutting your shower time down to 5 minutes instead of 15 minutes can save you £98 per year — less singing and faster washing!

  1. Storing food properly 

When we’re packing food away in the fridge or freezer, we usually don’t think about how it’s stored. But, the way that you put away your goods can have an impact on your energy bill.

If you pack your freezer more tightly, this keeps more of the cold air in when you open the door. This means that the appliance doesn’t have to work as hard to lower the temperature again. The same applies for the refrigerator too — a full fridge requires less energy to stay cool than one that’s empty. If you’re struggling to pack your fridge or freezer full, filling it with newspaper can do the job. 

  1. Save money booking holidays 

Even when we’re trying to save money, we all deserve a holiday now and then! The good news is that you can save money by following a few top tips the next time you book a vacation. 

Try and fly out on a Friday if you can, this can save you 18% on your airfare compared to if you flew out on a Sunday. Taking into consideration the average cost of a flight and the fact that the average Brit goes on holiday three times a year, you could save £85 annually by following this top tip. 

Be calculative about when you book your holiday too. You can save £36 per year by booking your trip on a Monday as flights are 5% cheaper. 

Consider packing more economically too. You can save £144 per year by only taking hand luggage on your flights. Squeeze more into your suitcase by rolling clothes and packing garments in your shoes.

  1. Meal prepping 

Being prepared when it comes to grocery shopping and planning lunches for the week can help save on cash. 

Even making a shopping list before you head to the supermarket can help. In fact, 60% of people who take a shopping list to the supermarket said it saves them money. It stops you buying things that you don’t necessarily need and helps you stick to your budget. 

Create a meal plan for the week too. This means that you’re only buying what you need and don’t need to spend money on unexpected lunches out. Statistics have shown that you can save an impressive £1,300 per year by preparing lunch at home rather than eating out during the week. 

  1. Eco-conscious coffee drinking 

There are a few ways that you can be eco-conscious about your coffee drinking while saving money. 

First of all, you can start by making your coffee at home when you can. You can save £507 per year by making your coffee at home instead of buying one each day from a retailer. If you prefer coffee from the store, why not take your own cup? This is helping the environment and you can save £150 per year as many high street retailers now offer 50p off coffee when you present your own cup. 

Make the small changes above and watch your pennies turn into pounds this year! For more saving tips, check out True Potential Investor’s Life Hacks interactive. 

Sources

https://www.uswitch.com/energy-saving/guides/5-lifestyle-hacks-to-save-energy/

https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/slash-your-electric-bill-with-11-savvy-hacks-48497#efficient-fridges

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/755367/money-saving-tips-electricity-bill

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/comment/how-airfares-have-fallen-since-golden-age-of-flying/

https://metro.co.uk/2017/05/13/how-far-the-average-british-tourist-travels-every-year-6635197/

https://www.skyscanner.net/news/tips/expert-tips-for-snagging-a-cheap-flight

https://www.statista.com/statistics/304108/number-of-passengers-on-united-kingdom-airlines/

https://www.skyscanner.net/news/7-ways-beat-easyjet-cabin-baggage-rules

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/blog/five-ways-to-save-at-the-supermarket

https://www.vouchercloud.com/resources/lunch-at-home-research

http://www.mintel.com/press-centre/food-and-drink/uk-coffee-shop-sales-enjoy-a-growth-high

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3979712/coffee-costa-starbuck-nero-chains-cost-each-year/

Technology

How print is supporting the digital industry

June 27, 2019

It seems like digital is ‘upgrading’ every sector, but there are still areas in which print is trusted as the number-one choice. For example, businesses often prefer to print confidential documents rather than sending them digitally, due to concerns over digital copies being less safe in terms of potential interception by a third party during its transmission.

In fact, even digital giants Google use print as a means to confirm addresses and identities of customers and contributors by sending out postcards with codes on for businesses signing up to their location services, as a physical security measure. This is particularly interesting, considering so many believe that digital will make print redundant — far from it, it appears that print is wholly necessary for digital to be a success. Managed print solution experts, United Carlton, investigates… 

The issue of trust

There’s no denying that the digital age has opened up a world of information at our fingertips. But not only is this information far more rapidly accessible, it is also just as quick to hit the digital platforms of the world. The speed in which information can be uploaded digitally is both a benefit and a problem — before anything can be checked, screened, or verified, it’s already out in the world and being shared across several platforms. This has given rise to what we now call ‘fake news’. 

A recent example of a fake news phenomenon came in the form of the Momo Challenge. This news story escalated quickly, being picked up by a number of tabloids including the Express and the Daily Mail, and even as far as the BBC. Touted as a haunting and harmful internet ‘challenge’ that would cut into YouTube videos and prompt children to contact a number through WhatsApp, the Momo Challenge sparked fear in parents and children across the world. Then, it turned out to be nothing but a hoax. 

The creature’s disturbing face was found to belong to a sculpture from a Japanese art show, and YouTube released a statement to say they had found no instances of such a video cutting into their broadcasts. But by the time the information could be checked and verified, it had already gone viral. 

Herein lies the issue of trust within the digital platform — information spreads so quickly that it is impossible to study and research the claims to prove them true or not before the world takes it as gospel. Hearsay and speculation become links, and these links are quickly referred to as ‘sources’ in order to lend credibility. Furthermore, as news outlets struggle to be the first with breaking news, verifying the story can fall by the wayside in favour of speed. A dangerous move, given people will likely trust a story more if they see it published by a known news outlet. 

Print media can, however, offer a balm to the downsides of digital swiftness. 

The power of apology in print

Consider this: in the wake of the scandal that gripped Facebook last year in which many users saw their details being unknowingly accessed by a political consultancy, CEO Mark Zuckerberg issues many apologies. One such apology took the form of a full-page printed advert in a number of national newspapers across the US and the UK. The apology read:

‘We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it. 

You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of million of people in 2014. This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

We’ve already stopped apps like this from getting so much information. Now we’re limiting the data apps get when you sign in using Facebook. 

We’re also investigating every single app that had access to large amounts of data before we fixed this. We expect there are others. And when we find them, we will ban them and tell everyone affected. 

Finally, we’ll remind you which apps you’ve given access to your information — so you can shut off the ones you don’t want anymore. 

Thank you for believing in this community. I promise to do better for you. 

Mark Zuckerberg’ 

In terms of this printed apology being successful, it is worth noting that the phrase ‘I am sorry’ has been viewed as an honest apology by 74 per cent of Brits. Zuckerberg used the phrase once in his printed apology. But more importantly, he chose to publish it in a printed format. According to PrintPower, this form of apology shows a valuable act of taking time to consider the apology as well as being willing to put it in permanent record through print. Inevitably, the printed ad would be photographed and shared digitally by Facebook’s target audience, in a more authentic way than if Facebook had published the apology itself digitally. It stands out, and it looks genuine— as The Drum rightly notes, there’s a reason we still use the phrase ‘front page news’ when discussing important matters. It’s deemed a reliable source, where only 24 per cent of Brits reckon Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook itself is trustworthy for news

It may well be that the future is predominantly digital. But the digital world will always benefit from the human elements that are inherent to print media. 

Sources: 

https://www.odwyerpr.com/story/public/9862/2017-12-08/print-media-more-trustworthy-than-digital.html

https://www.clearb2b.com/news-views/Thefutureofprintinadigitalage

https://twosidesna.org/US/mark-zuckerberg-apologises-through-a-newspaper-ad/

https://www.politifact.com/facebook-fact-checks/statements/2019/mar/05/facebook-posts/no-momo-challenge-isnt-real-its-just-another-inter/

https://yougov.co.uk/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2019/02/06/most-brits-think-im-sorry-any-offence-caused-prope

https://www.technadu.com/mark-zuckerberg-apologizes-for-the-breach-of-trust-in-full-page-newspaper-ads/23739/

https://www.printpower.eu/insight/the-art-of-the-apology/

https://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2018/03/29/print-dead-then-why-do-even-the-tech-giants-use-it-their-apology-ads

Business

How can you exploit data to make well educated business decisions?

June 27, 2019

Historically, the value of a business focussed mostly on the health of the most recent balance sheet. Essentially accountants could, at a glance, determine asset strengths and liability weaknesses, then offer an informed viewpoint as to what actions were needed to improve things. As a process of its time, this worked fine.


But fast forward to the present, and although financial statements retain all their validity, the balance sheet does not declare the value of the business’ data — arguably one of the most important and under-utilised asset. The value of data cannot be understated, as the opportunities it offers are immense. Sitting in the depth and breadth of transactional information, customer activity, purchasing, stocking detail etc, there is value to be found through a variety of applications and interpretations of this data. You just need to have to right tools to extract its gold mine potential in order to make your business greater. Moreover, data is an asset that does not depreciate, but grows day-by-day, almost effortlessly. This is something that is extremely exciting for the future of any business, large or small. 

Businesses must decide how best to work the data and bring home the spoils. Right now, you may be thinking about whether your current systems are up to the mark. Are they already maxed out in terms of harnessing the power of your data? Do you have absolute confidence in the quality of information you have available? Perhaps it’s time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and the impact on your business model. A review such as this can highlight weaker areas of your business model that, once addressed, can push your company up to larger successes.  

Buying, stocking and distributing goods, in a trade, wholesale or even retail sector has moved on considerably since the dawn of the internet. Customer service expectations have been transformed to an on-demand model — a business that cannot fulfil an order quickly will be abandoned by a customer more than happy to shop elsewhere. Customers not only want to know your stock position, but they want and expect you to be looking after them pro-actively. Pro-active customer service requires quality communications to suit their needs. These processes are vital in order to make them feel important. But in order to achieve this, your systems need new levels of capability. Without it, you may find customers heading over to your competition instead.

In the same way that systems have become more sophisticated, more capable and more functionally rich, there is also an expectation to see greater ease of use and more flexibility. If applications are not intuitive then they simply won’t get used. Browser-based deployment and fully mobile-enabled capabilities are must-haves. At no point should a user be required to re-key data. Every application should be seamlessly integrated with one another.

Using data to make decisions is about having the relevant information you need available in an instant. More than that, you want the data to be presented ‘dashboard style’ for easy, timely decision-making and be able to highlight the opportunities within the complete picture, risk-free. Whether the task at hand is to spot gaps in buying patterns and sales trends, or to create effective new campaigns, being able to have your finger on the pulse has become mission critical. Those empowered and duly authorised to make the right informed decisions at the right time will be able to enjoy increased job satisfaction. At the same time, the business will be able to operate with renewed and profitable vigour.

Warehouse management specialists, Kerridge Commercial Systems have been at the forefront of developing fully-integrated solutions to the manufacturing and distribution sectors for over 40 years. The company’s latest generation of advanced applications incorporate all the requirements for efficient trading with comprehensive CRM, data analysis, and decision-making capabilities. Tony Pey, Head of Product Marketing, says: “Our solutions have been finely developed in partnership with our customers over many years. Right at the forefront now in terms of applications that can help businesses make timely, well-informed decisions, our Vecta sales analytics and CRM solution is immensely capable. It enables the user to stay in the driving seat and run the business their way. Implementation is straightforward — Vecta is easy and intuitive to use and results can start to kick in within days of going live.”

What does the future of data management hold then? In short, the bar is likely to go up even further as competitive pressures grow. It is particularly exciting that businesses are employing young, enthusiastic, IT-savvy staff, who have a greater awareness of the potential of technology. Particularly, this generation of staff know how to make the most from the applications and tools available. Bringing this to the forefront means that any business can not only improve decision-making processes but have the implicit trust and confidence that the information before them is accurate and reliable. Together with the need to serve customers to the levels now demanded, this is what it’s all about — with a stronger balance sheet and healthier P&L to show for it.

Travel

Exploring The South Coast Of England: A Guide

June 22, 2019

The south coast of England sprawls over a large section of the country. This article will focus on the coastal areas so that you can enjoy the beach as well as city life on your trip. Enjoy a dose of fresh sea air on the coast, and return from your break away feeling energized and refreshed.

Why Visit The Sea?

Only a very few people don’t enjoy a trip to the seaside, especially when it’s accompanied by an ice cream, long evenings, BBQ’s on the beach, and nostalgically reminiscing on days gone by when weekends were spent with your parents and grandparents on the beach during the summer. Sit back on a sun lounger and read for hours on end as the gentle sound of the tide splashing relaxes you. The pressures of everyday life and the working week seem to dissipate when you’re laying by the shore, so take note and discover how best to enjoy the south coast of the UK.

Visit Chichester

Three days in Chichester should be sufficient enough to see the highlights of what this small city has to offer. What it might lack in size, it certainly makes up for traditional English pubs, green parks and lawns, an impressive Norman cathedral, and small quirky independent shops. To eat, head to the pubs that serve quality food and enjoy a pint outside in Chichester’s numerous pub gardens. Try the hole in the wall pub, a stone’s throw from the large M&S, to sample of their real ales and keg beers.

Be sure to explore the countryside that surrounds this pleasant city, as The South Downs are truly something to behold. Check out the many cycle routes available and set out in pursuit of rolling hills, large expansive landscapes, and sunny meadows.

Go To Brighton

Brighton beach is staggeringly busy in the height of summer, and many from all around flock to enjoy its atmosphere and sun-soaked shoreline. You’ll be hard pushed to find a quiet spot here; however, if you venture in the direction of Hove, you will be far more likely to claim a patch of the beach as your own. A fair few fish restaurants sit beside the shore, so consider popping in to sample the freshly caught catch of the day. Brighton is renowned for being a lively city full of excitement, pubs and bars, and with an eclectic mix of people and personalities. It’s a good fun day out, so head over to enjoy it.

Head to Beachy Head

Not far from Brighton is Eastbourne; it’s most famous for its large chalk headland that appears to jut out into the sea. Beachy Head enjoys the presence of visitors all year round, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a breath-taking setting, and the cliff itself is the highest chalk cliff in Britain, and the peak allows for some pretty spectacular views. This said, resist the urge to stand too close to the edge as the chalk is receding and slipping into the ocean each and every day. While you’re there, consider popping into The Tiger Inn for food, or The Beachy Head pub if you want to stay closer to the cliffs themselves.

Lifestyle

Dating Tips: How to Learn Patience in a Relationship

June 14, 2019

As you go about your normal life, you will realize that patience is a rare virtue. People shout at each other on the road, curse when the bank line is too long, and even try to take numerous shortcuts in life. Every person should try to have patience in all aspects of life.

If you are in a relationship, this is one of the strongest pillars that you should work hard to maintain. But if you do not know how, I will guide you by sharing tips on how to learn patience in a relationship. Read on to learn more.

One Step at a Time

Learning to be patient, especially if we are not, is a gradual process. It should start with small things like waiting a minute longer before you react to anything. You can also share with your partner to help you in the learning process.

They should be patient with you, too. If you take one step at a time, the dream of learning to be patient will come true. The secret is in making efforts to learn this virtue.

Remember, Remember, and Remember!

Keep reminding yourself that this is a virtue that supports the love. If there is no patience in a relationship, there will be many problems that are experienced immediately and in the long run.

According to research, it is possible to break a relationship, especially if you have just met on a dating site like Happymatches and you are still learning more about each other. But if one makes an effort as early as now, the partner will understand.

Get Professional Help

It is not fair to keep this problem as a secret since it is affecting the relationship. If you or your partner cannot learn how to be patient through other ways, professional help may be handy. With many relationship counselors out there, you can only fail to get help because of your own choice.

They are professionals and their guidance usually works. One thing to know is that they treat each case differently. So, you will need to have a couple of sessions with them before they propose the best solution. The presence of your partner is also needed in this case because they will have a role to play.

Support from Your Partner

Learning patience in a relationship is not a battle to be fought by a single person. Your partner has an even bigger role to play. If they indeed love you and care about the relationship, they should stand with you as you take the baby steps towards the virtue.

Their support genuinely matters a lot. As mentioned earlier, the partner should be patient with you and do all of the necessary things that are considered support to you. This is the time to show that they truly care about you.

Conclusion

As we have seen, learning patience in a relationship is a process that needs determination from you, support from your partner, and even help from experts. When all of these efforts are brought together, you will definitely enjoy the results. Patience will not only make your relationship better, but it will also help you in life.